Fashion month’s longest ‘week’, Paris Fashion Week SS24, was lit up for 9 consecutive days with surprises, celebrities, new beginnings and emotional endings. Sarah Burton celebrated a seminal 25 years at Alexander McQueen with a stirring tribute, Stefano Gallici rebooted Ann Demeulemeester, as Peter Do and (Style Arcade favorite) Christopher Esber presented their collections in Paris for the first time.
So, what did we learn from just under 90 shows and presentations? Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu, two of the last labels to show during Paris Fashion Week and close out the month, have a habit of cementing new themes, shapes, and the changing face of fashion for the coming season. And these collections were no different. This time, along with a number of other labels, they subverted and questioned the traditional status quo of what contemporary ready-to-wear should look like - and brought humor, and the fun of dressing back with it.
One of the more obvious takeaways from the week is that the Paris collections are steadily shifting away from Y2K-inspired low-rise denim, skimpy bodycon silhouettes and micro skirts. A return to simplicity for brands like Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent could be found in its heavy use of cotton, or at Victoria Beckham which referenced ballet themes in easy jersey dresses, knitwear and tulle. Despite the surrealist elements, Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe and Dries Van Noten mastered sophisticated and luxurious everyday staples in their very own style of minimalism.
Color surprises came from Maria Grazia Chiuri who took her Dior darlings down a darker path, with a mostly black, grunge-inspired collection. Elsewhere, shades of burgundy struck an autumnal cord across Saint Laurent, Hermes, Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens and Balenciaga.
But of course, like Rick Owens, Schiaparelli and Junya Watanabe, not every designer can or desires to fit into a specific set of seasonal trends - and that’s just how it should be. That said, from the thousands of looks, here are some recurring themes and soon-to-be trends coming in hot from Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 24.
From hardcore gorpcore, all-out utility puffer jackets and cargo trousers of last season and beyond, here comes the YSL-entrenched safari - but make it simple. Starting “a new chapter” at Saint Laurent, the collection paid homage to its roots, but was made for the moment in near detail-less (save for buttons) jumpsuits, shirtdresses, and knee-length pencil skirts. Isabel Marant opened with a full-length parka in parachute toile, Hermès showed signature luxury in easy-wearing belted dresses and skirts, while Zimmermann showed perfectly relaxed sporty jumpsuits and belted utility pieces.
While we’ve seen the underworkings of garments on display in corsetry, lingerie and dress bonings, this season accessories, and even entire collections appeared to center around the humble pair of stockings. They were white, and focal point at Louis Vuitton - who somehow made them feel cool and modern - sporty at Victoria Beckham, and brightly colored and patterned at Givenchy, Acne, Junya Watanabe and Issey Mikayke. Givenchy’s quintessentially French collection used tights as a general motif; a subtler way to reveal skin.
UNDOING THE EVERYDAY
How do you reinvent the wheel of “wardrobe staples” - and should you? Paris says yes. Called ‘the familiar unfamiliar’ by Dries Van Noten, this week’s designers focussed on creating new silhouettes out of the tried and true. Inspired by shirt stripes and khakis and lawn sports, all it took for Van Noten was to add a feminine touch. Loewe went for rib-cage-high-waist pants amongst simple jackets, shirts and tees. Louis Vuitton rendered vintage silhouettes in rigid patent minis, blown-up plaid shirts and scintillating office blouses, while Balenciaga continued its signature enormity in denim and blazers, while doubling up on trench coats and bomber jackets. At Coperni, flat speakers and small devices were embedded in leather jackets and -shirts, some featuring extra-long sleeves and paired with loafer-soccer-boot hybrid sneakers.
The deconstructed tuxedo was in high order in Paris, the classic le smoking never far from mind. Givenchy’s high collar and wide-shoulder tailoring was sculpted around the body,
Coperni’s jacket lapels were peaked and notched far lower than usual, and Dries Van Noten embellished trousers with tuxedo stripes. Stella McCartney opted for cummerbunds with shirts and denim, and Peter Do played with purporting in razor-sharp blazers, elongated shirts and slashed suit pants.
For those playing at home (on Instagram), it was *kinda* hard to miss the show-stopping moments via the Kardashian-Jenner’s - Kylie on the carpet at Acne and Kendall walking for Schiaparelli. The common thread? Red, red, red. Whether it was at Christopher Esber or Valentino bright, bold red is the Parisian never-fail scene stealer for evening wear. McQueen’s fiercely feminine pieces were inspired by the red rose of England, Valentino engineered red gowns to reveal and conceal the female form, and Kendall Jenner’s Schiaparelli dress was crafted from 3650 faux nails - truly!